created by Glenn Tamashiro

Hello and welcome. This site was developed to keep you informed about the various lessons and activities that are held in our Government/Economics and Honors Government/AP Macroeconomics classes.

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APMacro: Investment Risk

Investment-RiskPeople save and invest their money to receive a return on their savings or investment. Risk comes from the uncertainty about whether you will receive the promised return. The greater the risk you take with your investment, the higher the potential rate of return. Unfortunately, with more risk, it is also more likely that you will lose money. In other words, you can expect a return from taking risks with your money, but you could also take a financial loss. As with any economic decision, there is no free lunch in deciding about investments. Rank each of the investments with 1 representing the lowest risk or reward and 3 representing the greatest risk or reward.

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Gov: Presidential Leadership

Presidential-Inauguration-2     The president is often viewed as the most powerful national leader in the world. However, at one time, U.S. presidents held far less power. During the 1800s, presidents acted mainly as “chief clerks.” Other than carrying out the will of Congress, they had little authority other than those powers explicitly granted by the Constitution. Since the end of World War II, the presidency has been powerful, no matter who was in the White House. By the 1970s, critics of presidential power voiced concerns about the rise of an “imperial presidency,” meaning presidents acted more like emperors than constitutional leaders.

Public expectations, national crises, and changing national and world conditions have required the presidency to become a strong office. Underlying this development is the public support the president recieves from being the only nationally elected official. The president’s election by national vote and position as sole chief executive ensure that others will listen to his ideas. But to lead effectively, the president must have the help of other officials, and to get their help, he must respond to their interests as they respond to his. Presidential influence on national policy is highly variable. Whether presidents succeed or fail in getting their policies enacted depends heavily on the force of circumstance, the stage of their presidency, partisan support in Congress, and the foreign or domestic nature of the policy issue.

To retain an effective leadership position, the president also depends on the strong backing of the American people. While many presidents have high support ratings early in their administrations, these ratings invariably decline due to disappointment, scandal, or general disillusionment. Unfortunately, the public expects far more from the president than he can deliver. The media is also a problem here, as it tends to dwell on “negative spin” regarding presidential “broken promises” or difficulties rather than what the president has actually accomplished.

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APMacro: Types of Investment

Investment-Pyramid_full

We invest money in everything from rare coins to real estate because we expect a favorable financial return in the future. However, not all investments turn out as we hope and expect. Nearly every kind of investment involves some sort of risk. For example, the price of rare coins or houses can go down as well as up. Generally, there is a strong relationship between risk and reward. The higher the potential reward an investment offers, the higher the risk of losses rather than gains. Therefore, in choosing what to invest in it is important to weigh the various risks against the potential rewards.

You don’t need to take great risks to ensure a safe return on your investments—if you are patient. You can invest your money conservatively and let the passage of time increase its value. The trick is to take advantage of the power of compounding. Compounding refers to the ability of an investment to generate earnings that can be reinvested to earn still more earnings. Banks make this happen when they pay depositors compound interest, rather than simple interest, on their savings. Compound interest is interest paid not only on the original amount deposited in the savings account, but also on all interest earned by those savings.

Suppose you left your savings in the bank to compound year after year. In time, you would double your investment. But how long would this take? To find out, you could use the rule of 72. This rule says to divide the number 72 by the annual rate of return on the investment. The answer is the number of years it will take to double the original investment.

We invest in a variety of financial assets, including savings accounts, government bonds, corporate bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. Each has its own level of risk and expected reward. You will learn about the five types  of investing risks and then compare the risks and rewards of several of the most frequently used types of investments.

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Gov: General Election Campaign

General Election Campaign   During the campaigning session, the presidential nominees and their campaigners will crisscross the nation to meet voters. Candidate teams considered and discussed which states they should focus on in their campaign, and why? Presidential nominees can visit as many states as they want to encourage those states to vote for them. When a nominee makes a campaign stop, he or she can talk to multiple states in the area. No state can stop a nominee as he or she is traveling. A nominee is free to visit the states he or she chooses and may visit some states more than once or not at all.

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Memorial Day

Memorial-Day

Memorial Day is a United   States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

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APMacro: Saving and Interest

power of comp

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it can grow. It grows when you save and invest wisely. If you want to be wealthy, start by saving and investing regularly. Begin saving now and save as much as you can afford. Pay yourself first by putting money into a savings account, money market fund, or some other investment instrument every time you are paid. Because of the power of compounding, your money will grow big time. Compounding provides an incentive to save and invest early. The benefits of saving and investing when you are young can increase substantially over time when funds are allowed to compound. Compounding means that you earn interest on the interest earned in previous years. For example, if you save $2,000 and earn 8 percent in annual interest, you will have $2,160 at the end of the first year. You will have earned $160 in interest. The second year, however, you will earn more than $160 in interest because you will earn 8 percent of $2,160, not $2,000. This will come to $172.80 in interest, or $12.80 more than the first year. How much difference does this compounding make? If you save $2,000 a year at 8 percent annual interest from age 22 to age 65, you will have saved $86,000 over 43 years. How much money would you have at age 65? You would have a total of $713,899, or $627,899 more than you saved. Think of compound interest as the fertilizer that makes money grow.

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Gov: General Election Prep

     Students represent states and are no longer members of a particular party. Therefore, they can choose a candidate from either party based on their own beliefs about the campaign issues and which candidates would be better for the office of president. During the campaigning session, the presidential nominees will crisscross the nation to meet voters. Candidate teams should consider and discuss this question. Which states should we focus on in our campaign, and why?

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